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Charlottesville School Board Briefed on Afterschool Reading Program

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Juandiego Wade, City of Charlottesville School Board chair. Juandiego Wade, City of Charlottesville School Board chair.
Jim Henderson, city of Charlottesville associate superintendent Jim Henderson, city of Charlottesville associate superintendent
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

he City of Charlottesville School Board received an update Thursday night on a new afterschool elementary school reading program. Now, program planners are working on ways to improve the program for next year.

Extending the Bridges of Literacy is an afterschool program for elementary school students who need extra help reading. This past school year was the program’s first year was this past school year.

Now that Virginia standardized test scores are in, the school board received an update on the program’s results.

The 270 student program showed the best results in younger grades - 53 percent of the program's students first through third grade passed the reading exam, compared to 35 percent of these same students last year.

“We believe that this program will achieve both of those goals - to pass the SOLs and to enjoy reading.  We weren’t successful in all of the students passing the SOL, but we were very close and we believe that with the changes we make this year we will get as close to 100 percent as we can get,” explained Juandiego Wade, City of Charlottesville School Board chair.

“What we'll try to do is to engage the kids in the type of texts that we’re reading, making sure that it’s high interest. Also looking at kind of connecting with enrichment activities, trying to connect with things that were doing with iStem and some of the areas that we’re doing with computer science so that it extends that reading into areas of high interest,” said Jim Henderson, city of Charlottesville associate superintendent.

One of the programs biggest issues is with consistent attendance.

“We found that during certain parts of the year during the week, that the attendance wasn't what we would like it to be and so, the teachers and the administrators are already thinking about ways to address that,” Wade explained.

The program receives nearly$ 240,000 in funding from a national extended learning grant.

The program has not officially received grant funding for this upcoming year, but administrators say they are confident the grant will come through.

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